Journey, In viaggio col dolore




31. MY JOURNEY WITH PAIN. New York, Jazzin' Genova.

I had a lot to do back from Australia and not a lot of time, but I felt ready! It was not the first time that I had produced a CD entirely from the idea to the concrete materialization. I usually wonder what kind of sound I want and what musicians and arrangements could create it. I do specific historical research on the subject, study the songs and ask myself what kind of approach I have towards that sound matter.
Sometimes the answer comes spontaneously; sometimes, I have to sing all the songs or wait for an intuition.
 
Then you have to take care of all the practical things, usually handled by the executive producer, such as roadmaps, timing, estimates, all things that I discovered I could do with pleasure and effort, despite my humoral and artistic temperament. I can activate a global and even partial vision that considers each collaborator's needs; who manages to coordinate the many different situations: arrangements, rehearsals, recording studio, what sound engineer is there? And then who will do the mix and the mastering? What about the photographs?  And graphics?
There is an avalanche of work, commitment, and dedication to create that small object that is little more than the palm of your hand, a CD.
 
In February, I had already been to NY to decide on the musicians and choose the recording studio definitively. Thanks to the Visa for extraordinary capacity, I was able to work in the USA and invest money.
The day before leaving, I took a long walk under the arcades of Prè, in Genoa, to breathe in the smells, the sea air, and stay a bit in the 'caruggi' (typical Ligurian alleys) I had frequented a lot since I was a girl. 
I was looking for a white sailor hat. I had Fred Astaire and a musical of him in mind. I went into a military uniform shop, and the lady said to me: "Yes! You want an 'Americanino'!" (little American). I took it as a good omen! I was going to the New Continent to tell a piece of Genoa's history. I also felt a particular responsibility on myself, mixed with looking forward to being there and living that adventure!
 
I arrived in Manhattan on Friday, May 15, 2009, in the early afternoon. I was on Broadway, and around the corner were the David Letterman Show studios. Within walking distance, I had Madison Square Garden. I was in 'Midtown,' a very convenient area. I even had a small Deepak Chopra shop nearby where I could meditate for free whenever I wanted. There was a laundry to wash and dry my clothes a few steps away and a large store with all the comfort goods, with counters full of fresh fruit of all kinds. I arrived on a Friday to give myself time, over the weekend, to absorb the jet lag and get organized, since the following Monday, I started rehearsing with the pianist. Every morning, I immediately got into the rhythm of walking around the block to stretch my legs and buy my fruit salad, the energetic sprint to face the day. The pianist lived in the Village. We rehearsed on the 18th, 19th, and 20th for no more than 8/9 hours in all. After the arrangements, we then met with the bassist and the drummer in a beautiful rehearsal room, with the photographer also shooting.
Then on May 28th and 29th, we found ourselves in Brooklyn to record, in a studio where well-known jazz singers and orchestras had recorded.
The piano, a grand Steinway, was the favorite of a great conductor and a planetary pop star!
I felt very prepared. I remember that when I entered the recording booth for the voice, with headphones on, while I was choosing the type of microphone, someone said something to me that made me smile. And that was one of the moments of highest 'worldly' happiness I have ever experienced. I was ready. I had made sure to be physically well. I had organized everything perfectly to avoid surprises and last-minute stress. I was in my place, ready to sing and make that dream come true!
 
 
Seafarers can be recognized immediately: they have a sense of adventure. The boundaries are indefinite; the horizon is distant but always accessible. There is something down there to discover. Being a native of a marine city, a thousand kilometers below Genoa, I know the essence of this watery and unsteady, restless spirit. And when Mariangela arrived here in New York a few years ago, I recognized her belonging to that similar lineage. She appeared to me as a twisted cloud loaded with abundant rain and secret promises. And more: from her lion hair and something else, I immediately caught the consistency of her voice and art even before listening to her. And in fact, I was not disappointed: Mariangela sings like a woman of the sea who has known so many subtleties and infinite roughness. She lived and learned. She worked on her voice like the chisellers of yore did. She has absorbed the essence of jazz-like a protean porifer and transfused it into her soul with prodigies of ancient alchemy. In this, if nothing else, I recognize that I have been helpful to you. The idea for this project was not born in Genoa or  even in New York, but in any case next to the sea, in a distant and hot summer. From Genoa, it certainly carries the weft, the poetic seed, and from New York the warp, the swinging beat. Many authors have managed to sing the soul of Genoa, but no one has ever dared to merge it with that of New York, a seaside city - if not a very marine one - too. Mariangela did it together with three extraordinary musicians like those you will hear on this record, who - miracle of the muse Euterpe - certainly did not know these songs. Yet, they knew how to render them with extraordinary sensitivity. And then about all that voice! Sandy and watery, rough and pliable like never before. Americans, who perhaps only know Cristoforo Colombo and pesto about Genoa, will be surprised, possibly dazzled; the Italians who have heard these songs many times from the same authors will be - I hope - amazed. I, who - I confess bitterly - have never been to Genoa, now live it more closely. I imagine it languid and relaxed, ready to welcome the fruits of its being multifaceted and generous, because of her daughters Bettanini finally reflects its ultimate female heart. 
Enzo Capua-jazz critic, producer.
 
 
 
 
Genoa, a vital seaport!
It is no coincidence that avant-garde musicians have always been from Genoa: already during the war, when it was forbidden to listen to American music, sailors brought jazz records from their "smuggling" journeys.
As kids, we only listened to this music and read French poets; from this union, the songwriters were born.
I Gianfranco Reverberi, the only one intending to become a musician, was the first to arrive in Milan. The "Dischi Ricordi" of which I was a part was being born, and with the spirit of the pioneers, almost for fun, we embarked on this adventure. We were looking for talents, and one by one, I ended up involving all the old friends.
We did not worry about making fashionable music, Bruno Lauzi said:
There is no "modern" music.
There is "eternal" music.
We made our music without expecting great things.
But it was "our music."
After some time, it is nice to discover that these pieces have not faded; they are still performed by great performers, as in this case.
Gianfranco Reverberi - producer and composer of the Genoese School.
 
 
 
You can find HERE other news, videos, and amenities of JAZZIN 'GENOVA and listen HERE the playlist of the concert LIVE at The Kitano
 
 
 
PRAYAN 'TI LASCIO UNA CANZONE' (I LEAVE YOU A SONG) IN THE VIDEO ASIDE
 
 
The time to sing together is over
The shared page closes here
The world has stopped now I go down here
You go on, but I'm not just sending you
 
I leave you a song to cover you if you get cold
I'll leave you a song to eat if you're hungry
I'll leave you a song to drink if you're thirsty
I leave you a song to sing 
A song that you can sing to whoever 
To whom you will love after me
To whom you will love after me.
 
I leave you a song to wear over the heart
I leave you a song to dream when you are sleepy
I leave you a song to keep you company
I leave you a song to sing 
A song that you can sing to whoever 
To whom you will love after me
to whom you will not love without me.
Gino Paoli 
 
 
 
 
 
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